27th March

A bit of all-round interest today with the wind edging slightly more towards straight easterly which perked up interest on the sea; under clear skies visible passage continued unabated but it remained relatively low-key on the ground. With the conditions having been frustratingly not quite right for a few days the subtle change saw the sea given more attention today: 74 Common Scoter, 2 Red-throated Divers and singles of Teal and Shoveler were the pick off the Bill, whilst 90 Black-headed Gulls, 11 Velvet Scoter, 4 Shoveler, 2 Brent Geese and singles of Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver were the best off Chesil. Visible passage was not quite as heavy as had been the case yesterday but variety is increasing, with a sample half-hour count at the Bill coming up with 180 Meadow Pipits, 85 Linnets, 12 Goldfinches, 9 Sand Martins and 7 Swallows. Chiffchaffs again dominated on the ground, although even the Bill area only managed a total of 50 or so; the best of the quality came in the form of single Firecrests at the Obs and Thumb Lane, a Black Redstart at Southwell and 3 Short-eared Owls still about at the Bill.

Morning seawatching at the Bill came up with what we hope is the vanguard of this spring's Common Scoter passage © Keith Pritchard:

...it's always nice when a flock has other wildfowl tagging along - in this case a Teal © Keith Pritchard:

This Black Redstart was a slightly unexpected garden visitor at Southwell © Debby Saunders: